We have a small 1920s craftsman style home in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We have clay soil, which contracts when it gets hot and expands when it's wet.
We had some foundation work done a few years ago - installing new piers, etc. This helped for a while. Yesterday we had them out again because it appears our brick (non-functioning) fireplace is sinking.
They dug down in 2 spots around the the chimney deep enough for a good-sized man to stand in the hole waist-high. What they found is that the chimney is just laid on a brick foundation. There is no concrete underneath the chimney and the brick pad just can't support the weight of the chimney. If they attempted to dig under the chimney it's likely that the brick pad could crumble.
They advised us to consider removing the fireplace & chimney entirely due to the weight. They said there is nothing else that they can do. My husband was there and witnessed all this and we think they are being straight with us. They actually spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out the fireplace situation.
We are pretty bummed about the prospect of having to remove our chimney, even though we don't use it.
Just wondering if any of you have ever had to remove a chimney due to foundation issues like this, or have any other advice for us?
I would appreciate any direct emails since we need to decide soon what to do about this.
Thank you very much!